Last week the USDA finalized a regulation that will allow all Mexican states to export pork to the United States, a move supported by the National Pork Producers Council.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is implementing a science-based risk assessment that determined Mexico is free of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), highly contagious viral disease in pigs. It was eradicated from the United States in the late 1970s. APHIS in 2016 concluded that the risk of CSF from pork imports from Mexico is negligible.
“The U.S. pork industry is a strong supporter of free trade and of using epidemiological science and risk analyses to determine if trade can be safely conducted between countries,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Illinois. “Mexico in 2017 was our No. 2 export market, so maintaining our good relationship with that country by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade is paramount for our producers.”
Through November last year, the United States shipped $1.4 billion of pork to Mexico.
Mexico in late 2007 requested market access to the United States for pork from the eight states in its central region but later amended that request to include all Mexican states. APHIS at that time conducted multiple reviews and determined Mexico’s control program for CSF was not sufficient to classify the country as negligible risk for the disease.
But because of the importance to the United States of the trade relationship with Mexico, USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service provided funding through a Global Based Initiative to assist that country with improving its control program. Through the grant, Mexican officials received training in foreign animal disease diagnostics at USDA’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center and in-country training on case management and control activities. A subsequent review by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) determined that Mexico was free of CSF.